Superfood Spotlight: Yams

What you need to know: With every Thanksgiving season we are reminded of one of our favorite vegetables: the yam. Found in a multitude of colors ranging from ivory to pink, yams are actually one of the most widely consumed foods in the world. Their rich and creamy flavor goes sinfully well with roasted turkey, cornbread stuffing and orange cranberries, so we are excited to know they are good for our health as well (there has to be something good for us on that Thanksgiving plate!).

These sweet little tubers only become more delightful as we learn about their health benefits, which range from cardiovascular support to blood-sugar control. These qualities provide more reasons to add them to the holiday spread this season -we’ll take any help we can get to offset the mounds of butter and pumpkin praline pie.

Why you should try it: Having been cultivated since 50,000 BC in Africa and Asia, yams have most certainly held their value in the culinary and nutritional realm. Most notably, yams are rich in vitamin C, our key preventative tool for the dreaded cold and flu season. They are also rich in B6, potassium and a protein called dioscorin. This unique combination of nutrients has led researchers to pronounce yams to be beneficial for lowering blood pressure and homocysteine levels, therefore reducing the risk of heart disease. In addition, yams are a well-known treatment for menopause in women. They are believed to help to support the female endocrine system, through their progesterone-like structure. While more research must be done on the matter, the host of clinical evidence may be enough for us to increase our consumption as a means of warding off those flashes of heat.

Let’s get together: While the typical inclination is to top baked yams with butter and marshmallows, we here at The Chalkboard have something else in mind this season. We love to drink our veggies and that’s just what we’re doing: Pressed Juicery’s newest seasonal juices include Spiced Yam, a creamy yam-based juice with Fuji apple, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg. In our minds, this is the best way to reap their benefits! Whether you decide to enjoy the juice straight up or as the perfect mixer for a hot toddy, make sure to load up on this superfood tuber this holiday season.

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